US regains market access to raw turkey meat

25-11-2020 | | |
Thailand has opened its market to fresh turkey meat from the US. Photo: Capri23auto
Thailand has opened its market to fresh turkey meat from the US. Photo: Capri23auto

In the first week of November, the Thai Department of Livestock Development (DLD) opened Thailand’s market for fresh US turkey meat.

This marked the first time the DLD opened their markets for fresh US turkey meat since 2014. US turkey meat exports are forecast to increase by as much as 70% by the end of 2021 to reach approximately US$ 470,455 dollars by the end of 2021.

Thailand banned all US poultry imports, including turkey, due to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in California and Washington in December 2014. In July 2019, the DLD conducted an audit of turkey production in the US, after which 2 plants in North Carolina are now eligible and approved to export raw turkey meat to Thailand for a 3-year period until November 2023. In 2014, raw turkey meat exports from the US to Thailand totalled US$ 672,079 dollars.

US poultry meat consumption rises: chicken protein of choice
US consumers have been turning to chicken during the Covid-19 pandemic, viewing it as the number 1 protein during quarantine.

Peaks in November due to Thanksgiving demand

Demand for turkey peaks in November due to Thanksgiving. Hotels are the largest market for turkey as they cater to tourists and expatriates. The food service industry in Thailand, including hotels, substituted raw turkey for cooked turkey meat products after the ban was put in place in 2014, even though cooked turkey meat products were 3 times more expensive than raw turkey meat.

The information in this article has been extracted from a USDA GAINS report prepared by Maysa Chanikornpradit.

Natalie Berkhout Freelance journalist